What happens if you stop?
My mum swears I came out of the womb and asked
“….and then what?”
She says I was always in a hurry to get to the next thing. That I had to know what was coming. I had to be in motion, pushing on.
It’s true I tended to run hard at things and only 100% effort was acceptable. It’s also true that this is still something I battle. Faster and harder isn’t better.
My father taught me to play hurt and as I watched TEDxOakville – Scott Strattens talk – Keep Going Until We Stop, I felt so connected to his emotion and anguish as it rang so loud and true.
Although Mum felt I was chasing the next thing, it could also be construed that I was running away from something.
What are you running from?
A powerful therapy question that needs to be handled with care and respect, but that can offer up significant responses.
Personally I felt better running towards anything than feeling lost, un-anchored and fearful in the present.
Yet is that really how I would feel if I stopped? That’s what I was thinking after the talk. What happens when you stop?
I believe those results could be as unique as you are.
I can’t help asking the question I was born to…so yeah you may feel lost, overwhelmed, broken down, exhausted and frightened…but then what?
Drawing from my last stop I thought I’d propose some possibilities:
- You create space. This maybe for new things to come into your life. Possibilities that weren’t in existence before. New understanding, opportunity, relationships, growth. Space to breathe, to listen, to hear your own voice.
- You become aware of what’s absent. Perhaps the silence highlights the lack of anxiety. The gaps where worry usually consumes. You become aware of the lack of pain, or denial of its existence, lack of tension, lack of anger, frustration, and expectation.
- You continue to function. Breathe goes in, breathe goes out. You go to sleep and you wake up. When living day to day you focus on the now. Mindfulness is not so much of a stretch. You see the beauty and absolute freedom that exists in the exact moment you are in.
- You regroup. Revaluate, take stock of what’s important. You look at the cost of whatever it is you’ve been chasing and really get to grips of making sure it’s worth it- for you. If it is, you reconnect and remember why.
- You replenish, renew, restore, rebuild.
Of course you may wallow. You may regret. You may rail against whatever it is. You may come apart….and then what?
One of the wisest Selfologists I know pointed out that the reverse of this question is also worth asking: What happens if you don’t stop?
Whatever you do it won’t be the same as it was before. It won’t be on auto-pilot.
Your next step it just that; yours.